Bluehost Review – Can Powering Over 2 Millions Websites A Good Sign of Bluehost?
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosts in the business, providing solutions for small businesses and individuals since 1996. It is a well-known web host with free customer support and a long list of features – and because it provides simple, easy-to-use tools for website building, I think it is a good choice for beginners.
There are cheaper web hosts out there, but at
$6.99 – $4.95 a month, Bluehost charges about average price and offers a 99% uptime guarantee, which means that your website will be up and running (as opposed to “down” for maintenance) almost all of the time! This host does have its faults (like CPU throttling) – but in general, it offers a lot of bang for your buck.
Web Hosting Features: What Can You Expect From Bluehost?
Unlimited Domain Hosting
This feature is important if you have multiple websites. Running multiple websites can be a hassle if you have to open a new account each time, but with Bluehost you can purchase multiple domain names and register all of them to a single account. So, if you have a small business website, blog, and professional resume website, you can manage them all in one place. But keep in mind that “unlimited” doesn’t mean “free”: Your contract includes one domain name – additional domains are $10 each.
Unlimited Gigabyte Hosting Space
With Bluehost, there’s no set limit on the amount of disk space you can use, and you don’t have to dish out more cash for extra space. But don’t plan to use this host for online backup or file archiving; Bluehost is strictly for websites. This hosting provider does allow for storage of website materials, though.
Unlimited Email Accounts
I like the fact that Bluehost lets you create unlimited email accounts associated with your domain. Many websites and small businesses have more than one administrator, and with this host, everyone on your team can have their own email address associated with their domain. This hosting service provides several email programs, such as Horde, SquirrelMail, and Roundcube.
Easy-to-Use Tools and Website Templates
Account Control Panel (cPanel)
Bluehost uses cPanel, which is one of my favorite user control systems because it’s fast and easy to use. In my opinion, the control panel is a super-important factor in choosing a web host – after all, the control panel is where you’ll manage all of your domains and websites.
And remember, you might have a lot of domains to manage if you take advantage of the “Unlimited Hosting” feature! Through cPanel, you can also load any files you need for your website and perform any tasks needed for your account.
You can see in the picture below that cPanel is well-organized into sections and includes pictures for each option. One thing I really like is that cPanel includes a “cPanel Help” section with tutorials for new users, as well as software services, such as the free website builder. The tutorials are a fast, fun way to get the greatest benefit from cPanel functions.
Free Website Builder & Simple Script
Bluehost is loaded with tools that make it easy to build a website – even if you don’t know anything about HTML. Page Wizard, the host’s free site builder, can help you build an awesome, professional-looking website using a variety of preset templates. Want something a little more advanced? No worries. You can use the site builder to make a website from your own code, too. Additionally, the Simple Scripts feature lets you install other genre-specific tools, such as WordPress or b2evolution. These resources are perfect for people with little or no knowledge of website building.
Try Before You Buy: Take Advantage On Bluehost Hosting Demo
Not sure if Bluehost is the right choice for you? Take it for a test drive! The website contains an online demo that lets you check out the cPanel features before you sign up for hosting services. This is a huge plus, in my book: Many web hosts do not include a demo of their control panel.
This demo is surprisingly thorough: The cPanel demo features the same Getting Started Wizard as the real cPanel, which walks you through all the important functions. Another plus: The demo lets you try the entire cPanel, including tutorials and the Simple Scripts. The demo server already has some scripts downloaded so that you can try them out without downloading them yourself. The only issue I have with the demo is that the demo servers are limited, so sometimes the scripts don’t load and you have to try again later. To avoid this problem, you can simply open a free account with Simple Scripts and try them on your own hosting account.
If you want to try a script that is not already downloaded on the server, the demo lets you download it yourself to test it out. This is a great feature because you can test everything you might need for your website (and make sure it is available through Bluehost) before buying hosting services. For example, if I wanted to create a blog, I could test WordPress in Simple Scripts. If I decide that I don’t like WordPress, I can try one of the other scripts for blogging, like Geeklog or b2evolution.
WARNING: Security Efforts May Affect Site Speed!
With Bluehost, you never have to worry about outgrowing your website: As your site grows and traffic increases, storage and bandwidth for your website will also grow. The best part: You don’t have to lift a finger! This host includes it as an automated function and will take care of it for you. This is how the hosting service is able to offer unlimited gigabyte file transfer and bandwidth. If you have a personal or small business website, Bluehost should be able to give you the resources that you need.
Websites hosted by Bluehost share resources, which is the same as most web hosts. The downside to this is, if a certain website starts using too many of these resources, other websites might be affected negatively. The host wants to protect your domains from users who might slow down your website by eating up too much memory. So, if a website starts consuming too much processor time, bandwidth, or memory, that website might become subject to something called “CPU throttling.” CPU throttling occurs when a certain website is consuming too many resources on a shared server. That website account will then have its CPU usage reduced or frozen entirely to avoid affecting other websites on the server.
Bluehost claims that this adds to website security, but I think CPU throttling can cause some problems. Imagine that your website traffic increases heavily one day and consumes more resources than usual. It’s possible that CPU throttling could occur and make your website very slow. This “security measure” could turn away your website end-users — and cause you to lose money!
Bluehost HelpDesk: 24/7 Customer Support
In my opinion, it’s hard to beat Bluehost when it comes to customer service. The host offers free tech support to U.S. customers – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a problem with your domain or account, you can call a toll-free phone number, chat online with support techs, or send your questions via email. And if you want to search for the solution yourself, the website features an extensive Help Center, where you can find video tutorials, user forums, and more. Take a look at Bluehost Helpdesk here.
The Bottom Line: Is Bluehost Recommended?
Overall, I think this is an excellent hosting service for small businesses and individuals. For only
$6.99 $4.95/month, you get excellent customer support and a long list of free, easy-to-use features like Simple Scripts and website templates. And, even though it is designed for smaller enterprises and first-time users, the service still includes advanced options and the ability to create your own website without a template if you choose.
The biggest drawback? CPU throttling. Although Bluehost offers unlimited gigabyte hosting space and unlimited file transfers, you might be wary of this feature if you have a website that gets a lot of traffic. Hopefully, they will fix its CPU throttling feature so that it targets only abusive websites and not normal users.